coming of age

Aug 17, 2021

The House on Mango Street represents a perspective of someone whom you would never think of. I liked how this book took into perspective how Esperanza lived in her community and how she was looked at by certain people. This book shows a lot of realistic events that seem very meaningful and makes the book very interesting to read. I gave this a five-star rating because I liked how this book was written. It is very intense in Esperanza's feelings but also very truthful about what happened to her. My favorite part about this book was how it was very hard to read and understand what was going on

Aug 15, 2021

The first time I saw this book was online while I was browsing through the Johnson County website. I was interested in this book because of the cover. As I read further into this book I understood that it was more than an adventure story but also a way of going on the journey with Karr. This book has the highest of commendations because it shows how Karr, a kid, journeys throughout the entire galaxy to find out how his powers work only to find out that he was predestined to do something else. This book will help people find how to find themselves because it helped me in that way. When you open

Solo by Kwame Alexander

Solo

5
Rated by
May 27, 2021

Blade Morrison’s life seems perfect. He’s a skilled guitarist with a famous musician for a father, and he has plenty of money and girls to choose from. But despite this, Blade feels lost. The one girl he truly cares for can’t be seen with him. His father’s face covers the tabloids. And ever since his mother passed away, he doesn’t seem to fit in with the rest of his family. Solo explores Blade’s search for identity through poetry, following his quest for love and belonging.


Solo illustrates a multilayered story in an incredibly bold, creative format. The book is told through the poetic

May 20, 2021

Esperanza is a young girl who moves into a house on Mango Street with her family.  This house   is not what Esperanza dreams of though since it is in terrible condition and it is very small.  The house is in a Latino neighborhood in Chicago.  Esperanza matures during the year.  Esperanza makes friends, develops a crush, and is assaulted.  The novel also talks about some of the tragedies going on in some other people’s lives who live on Mango Street.  Esperanza learns a lot from her experiences and from her neighborhood.  Esperanza vows to exit Mango Street and give herself a better life.  Will

May 15, 2021

Eliza Mirk is an unsociable and shy high school student who much prefers to spend her time in the online world, where she can have complete control over her identity and be as anonymous as she likes. When she is online, she is simply known as LadyConstellation, the author of the insanely popular webcomic Monstrous Sea. However, when Eliza meets a boy named Wallace Warland, who also happens to be a popular fanfiction writer for Monstrous Sea, she finds herself opening up for the very first time. Eliza even starts considering the unthinkable — that maybe she doesn’t have to live her whole life

May 13, 2021

15-year-old Liliana Cruz has a lot to deal with. From taking care of two chaotic younger brothers to dealing with an increasingly absent best friend to providing emotional support for her mother who, incidentally, won’t tell her where her missing father is, it seems like she’s just barely holding her life together. But one thing is for sure — Liliana is at home in her diverse inner-city high school, even if it’s underfunded and disorganized. Yet when she unknowingly lands a spot in the prestigious METCO program, a desegregation program meant to give non-white students more educational

May 8, 2021

Ignite Me is the third book in Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me series, and it’s by far my favorite in the series so far. This book begins when Juliette wakes up after being shot. She is told by Warner that the war is over and Omega Point and all of its people are gone. Juliette then finds Kenji, who leads her to the handful of others that survived, including Adam. Juliette, Warner, Adam, Kenji, and the rest of their group plan to kill the Supreme Commander and take over Sector 45.


This book had a ton of character growth, some for the better and some not. For example, Juliette finally accepted who

Apr 25, 2021

The story starts in Redmont Fief where Will and his wardmates prepare for choosing day, the day where their future is determined. They can be evaluated and chosen by masters to become apprentices or work in the local farms. Hearing stories of how courageous his deceased father was, Will wants to follow in his footsteps and plans to become an apprentice in the fiefs battle school. After being rejected, Baron Arald gives him the option to become apprenticed to the mysterious ranger, Halt. Although at first unhappy with this outcome, after learning skills that help protect the place he calls home

Sherwood by Meagan Spooner

Sherwood

5
Rated by
Apr 23, 2021

When Robin of Locksley dies in the Crusades, Lady Marian of Edwinstowe is left without her best friend in a world that expects her to be little, quiet, and defenseless—everything she is not. While trying to help her maid’s brother, Marian is mistaken for the dead Robin— and she doesn’t correct them. With taxes rising to pay for the King’s crusade and the people of Robin’s land starving, Marian teams up with outlaws Will, Alan, and John under her new identity to do as she believes Robin would have done to help his people. But as she continues her act, it gets harder and harder to hide her

Apr 22, 2021

In the third book in A.G. Gaughen’s reimagining of Robin Hood, the main character, Scarlet, previously known as both Maid Marian and Will Scarlet, has escaped imprisonment by her uncle, Prince John. Kept from her grandmother, Elinor of Aquitaine, and her love, Robin of Locksley, Scarlet must travel with new and old allies to stop Prince John from foiling King Richard’s return home.


I definitely enjoyed this book, because it easily put the classic story of Robin Hood into the context of historical events like the Crusades and the writing of the Magna Carta, while remaining about a young

Apr 21, 2021

Little Women is a classic realistic fiction novel. It is divided into two parts, both telling the story of four sisters, Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy. The first part is set at the end of the Civil War, and relates the story of these four loving sisters and their mother waiting for their father to come home from the war. They each have different temptations and struggles, but ultimately they bond together to create a loving household filled with laughter and joy. During this first part they meet their next door neighbor, Laurie, who will become their closest friend. The beginning half of the book

Apr 5, 2021

A Step From Heaven, written by An Na, describes a girl named Young Ju who recently moves to Mi Gook (America) with her family for new job and educational opportunities. This realistic fiction novel is written with small memories that show Young Ju’s path along life, from when she was a little baby to when she was heading to college. Despite Young Ju being top of her class and achieving what her parents wanted her to, she struggled with her father’s constant verbal and physical abuse. Along with that, she struggled to fit into American culture and learn the language. Her mom had to secretly

Cover photo of the book Majesty

Majesty

2
Rated by
Jan 29, 2021

Majesty is the second book of the American Royals series, where America is ruled by a monarchy, so warning: spoilers ahead. Now that her father is dead, Beatrice must learn how to rule her upset nation and manage her increasingly complicated love life. Meanwhile, Samantha and Nina need to get over their recent heartbreak, but for Daphne moving on is not an option. Like always, she’ll stop at nothing to get Jeff back. Majesty is full of drama, love, and emotion. 


Hope you didn’t grow too attached to the characters in the first book because McGee decides that nothing about them is worth

Dec 28, 2020

The Song of the Lark​ by Willa Cather is the story of a seemingly ordinary person rising up achieving greatness. Born in the small town of Moonstone, Colorado, Thea Kronborg faces the realities of life and comes to know her true self as she fights for a place in the world of opera. As Thea grows from a precocious young child in the late 1800s to a true artist in the early 1900s, we see the effect that this transformation has on her and those who are closest to her.  Cather’s beautiful prose captures not only the world around Thea, but also the wonder with which she views it. Cather shows the

Dec 22, 2020

Anne of Green Gables​ by L.M. Montgomery is a beautifully told coming of age story. Anne Shirley is an orphan mistakenly brought home by the Cuthberts living in Avonlea on Prince Edward Island. This story narrates Anne’s life as she grows up and learns to navigate her feelings, relationships, and life. Anne is a nearly perfect character because of her imperfections; she’s always making mistakes or getting into trouble, which makes her relatable to the reader.


For generations, Anne has delighted readers with her big personality and even bigger imagination, and as this was my second read of

Feb 26, 2018

Tink is heading into sixth grade, her last year in elementary school and she must deal with everything from her body suddenly changing to the ever increasing strain between her and her best friend, Jackie's, friendship. Hundred Percent is an authentic and true look into the mind and life of a girl transitioning from a child to a young adult.


The cover of the book is what originally drew me in, it's bright and colorful and just a joy to look at. This book surprised me in the best way, any novel dealing with a protagonist fourteen or younger must maintain a precise balance of accurately

IT (CD Audio)

By Stephen King
5
Rated by Melody M.K.
Nov 21, 2017

An eternal entity that goes into a sort of hibernation comes back every 27 years, feeding on the fears of children and creating all sorts of chaos in the town of Derry, Maine. The book IT is divided into five parts, moving from the summer of 1958 to 1985.


In the summer of 1958 Georgie, Bill's little brother, goes out to sail a paper boat and is the first to meet the entity during this visit. It does not end well for Georgie.  Bill and a group of other eleven-year-olds then get tangled up in the horror in Derry. They give the entity the name IT and themselves the name The Losers Club. After

Raven Girl

By Audrey Niffenegger
3
Rated by Sam S.
Jun 8, 2017

Raven Girl is the story of a girl-raven child produced by a lonely postman and the raven he fell in love with. It's a uniquely illustrated, dark, short novel—similar to Niffenegger's The Three Incestuous Sisters. The story opens with a postman rescuing a young raven who has fallen from her nest. After bringing her home and restoring her to good health, the two begin a life together and eventually fall in love. They produce a child, a girl. Though she appears human, she communicates in squawks and screeches and endlessly yearns for the sky. The story follows her as she approaches adulthood and

Signal To Noise

By Silvia Moreno-Garcia
4
Rated by Jesseca B.
Mar 24, 2017

“Why can’t music be magic? Aren’t spells just words you repeat? And what are songs? Lyrics that play over and over again. The words are like a formula.”


The classic hiss of a vinyl record collides with magic in this fun coming-of-age story. We first meet Meche in 2009 as she travels back to her hometown of Mexico City to attend her father’s funeral. Traveling back to her hometown forces her to confront her memories of the last time she was in Mexico City at the age of 15. Chapters flip from present-day 2009 to her teen years in 1988 as present-day Meche grapples with the truth she wants to

The Boston Girl

By Anita Diamant
4
Rated by Hannah Jane C.
Feb 3, 2017

The Boston Girl is told by 85-year-old Addie, who revisits her long life of memories during an interview given by one of her grandchildren.  It’s an incredibly intimate one-sided conversation that completely ensnares the reader.  This storytelling style made me feel as if Addie was my grandmother.  Like other special books with superb storytelling, The Boston Girl envelopes the reader inside a bubble.  While reading it, you feel like you are living the story and your real life is just an inconvenience that exists outside of the bubble. 


Addie Baum is both fiercely independent and

Miller's Valley

By Anna Quindlen
4
Rated by LeeAnn B.
May 11, 2016

Miller’s Valley is a coming of age novel about Mimi Miller, a girl growing up in the 1960s in rural Pennsylvania. Mimi and her family live on the same farm their family has lived on contentedly for generations. But things in Miller's Valley are beginning to change. Mimi’s dad is a farmer, but he’s really the fix-it man for the entire town. Mimi’s mom is a nurse who still manages to be around to raise Mimi and her two brothers. Mimi’s aunt, Ruth, also lives in a little house on their farm. In fact, she hasn’t left the inside of her house for many years. Over the years, their valley has been

The Boston Girl

By Anita Diamant
4
Rated by Caitlin T.
Mar 8, 2016

The Boston Girl is a classic tale of a first generation American woman in the early 1900s trying to start a better life. Addie Baum, an ambitious and likeable Jewish woman now in her eighties, tells the story of her youth to her twenty-two year old granddaughter. Her misadventures in a world unimaginable to her family are touching and amusing, though a little too familiar. At its core, this is a historically based coming of age novel intended for adults about the search for knowledge, love and self.


I rate this book a seven out of ten mostly due to its predictability. I had high

All the Birds in the Sky

By Charlie Jane Anders
5
Rated by Josh N.
Mar 7, 2016

"Genre mashups," where an author takes two different genres or sub-genres--for example, romance and steampunk or hardboiled detective and science-fiction--are not exactly new, but they have become a hot topic lately. With her debut novel All the Birds in the Sky, Charlie Jane Anders has done something different, taking a character in a modern fantasy story and a character in a near-future, dystopian SF story and having their lives intertwine in friendship and romance, without mashing up the different genres they belong in. It's like if Harry Potter and Katniss Everdeen lived in the same world

The End of Everything

By Megan Abbott
4
Rated by Cheryl M.
Feb 29, 2016

The End of Everything by Megan Abbott is a haunting coming-of-age story, ripe with teenage angst and suburban mystery. Set in the 1980s, the novel is about two thirteen-year-old girls who are best friends and in their last month of their last year of middle school. It is a time before internet, cell phones, and instant digital recording of every moment of life. One of the girls, Evie Verver, goes missing one afternoon, and the other, Lizzie Hood, tells the story of what it is like to be caught up in the drama: the waiting, the suspicion, the false rumors, and, ultimately, the secrets uncovered

Rapture Practice

By Aaron Hartzler
4
Rated by Peggy H.
Oct 13, 2015

This is the memoir of Aaron Hartzler, a writer and actor currently living in Los Angeles. The story covers his growing up years right here in the Kansas City metro.


Aaron was raised in an extremely conservative Christian home as the son of a preacher. As a child, he was thrilled by the idea of the Rapture, a highly anticipated event in which Jesus will return to Earth to gather his believers and take them directly into heaven. Aaron would jump as high as he could into the air while singing, hoping that he could catapult himself directly into heaven. But as he entered his teen years, Aaron

Uprooted

By Naomi Novik
4
Rated by Katie S.
Aug 31, 2015

Imagine a land far, far away where an evil Wood marks the boundaries around small towns. This Wood is a constant reminder to the citizens of Dvernik and other towns that they need the wizard called Dragon to protect them from its powers. In exchange for protecting them, he comes every ten years and selects a young girl to live with him and those girls never return to live in the valley. So it is not surprising that the girls up for the choosing do not want to leave their families and their lives, both of which they hold dear. One choosing day, the Dragon mistakenly chooses clumsy Agnieszka

Jul 9, 2015

It’s a shame that Me and Earl and the Dying Girl gets lumped in with John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars. Even though both are excellent novels involving a person dying of cancer, both are about vastly different things. Both have a vastly different tone, too - instead of Green’s warmth and earnestness, here life is more confused and bitter and darkly funny and deeply personal, which is more like how I remember high school. An unmotivated senior, Greg Gaines tries to stay under the radar and just survive the day unscathed. His goal is to drift through the year and deliberately keeps himself

The Language of Flowers

By Vanessa Diffenbaugh
4
Rated by Hannah Jane C.
Apr 25, 2015

While the protagonist, Victoria, is incredibly flawed in The Language of Flowers, it is unlikely you will ever feel anger towards her.  Trapped in the uncaring hands of foster care her entire life, she is socially inept, volatile and completely mired in grief and rage. 


After being booted out of foster care at the age of eighteen, Victoria struggles to find a foothold in adult life.  Thanks to a florist, Renata, and a flower vendor, Grant, Victoria finds anchor in her passion, the language of flowers.  While she is busy healing the lives of others through her remarkable talent of arranging

The Center of Everything

By Laura Moriarty
3
Rated by Becky C.
Jan 20, 2015

Evelyn Bucknow is at the center of everything. From her vantage point, the ten year old narrator of local author Laura Moriatry’s richly nuanced novel, The Center of Everything, sees all sides. She lives smack in the center of the United States with her single mother and disabled brother in a cheap apartment outside small-town Kerrville, Kansas. As she grows into a college-bound young adult, Evelyn witnesses the battle between her compassionately rebellious but immature mother and her loyal and stable but judgmental grandmother.


Escorting her mother to sign up for food stamps, Evelyn

Pennyroyal Academy

By M.A. Larson
4
Rated by Katie S.
Nov 8, 2014

Step into a world where princesses fight witches and knights battle dragons and prepare to become enchanted with the wonderful Pennyroyal Academy


M.A. Larson creates a truly imaginative world of cadets in training to become princesses and knights who will ultimately rid the world of evil. If you think princesses are just beautiful girls living in castles, then think again. The cadets have to battle each other in obstacle courses and training exercises, jump from towers onto the horsebacks of their heroes, and learn to find confidence and compassion within themselves when faced with evil